We love our products. We obsess over them, we dream about them, and then we share them. So when we get a few new products- or an entire butcher shop full of meaty, wholesome goodness- we gather, we cook, and we enjoy. Anyone wondering why we love our jobs? We take our work home with us in the form of meat, cheese, and other goodies from the shelves.
It’s grilling season across America and we are by no means immune to it. Grilling on the Fourth of July is a no-brainer for families everywhere, so we had to try it with our new cuts from in-house butcher, Frody Volgger. Store manager Max and I started the season with Christiansen Family Farm pork ribs based on Matt Caputo’s recommendation from the previous week. When our boss comes into work stark raving mad about something (with photos to boot), we know we need to try it out immediately.
Max took care of the 3 racks of short ribs and 3 racks of spare ribs- we were really hungry- while I took the opportunity to test some recipes for our Healthy Mediterranean class on June 27th.
Here’s what we ended up with: barbecued ribs with honey barbecue sauce, zucchini feta boats, fried polenta triangles, and apple basil salad. Are you drooling yet??
The ribs took a simple rub for 45 minutes and then Max grilled them over low heat for about 2 hours. He brushed them with his barbecue sauce and gave them another couple minutes to finish on the grill. It may take some time, but believe us, it is worth it.
No one can say no to these babies, especially when there is polenta beneath them! Since it was so hot this past week and my air conditioner is on the fritz, I used our instant polenta and whole milk to make a quick pan of polenta that chilled for one hour. I cut it into triangles and fried them in olive oil for about 3 minutes on each side. Again, simple and delectable.
Now, for those recipes we talked about from the class…
The zucchini boats and apple salad are both impossibly easy, require no heat (thank heavens), and satisfy even the pickiest eaters (see recipes below).
Of course, no meal is complete without wine. Francis Fecteau of Libation has us hooked on rosé (by us, I mean me forcing it on my friends and letting them love it as much as I do). It’s light, refreshing, and so delicious. Enter Atrea Skid Rosé, available at state wine stores for 14.99.
Max’s Barbecued Pork Ribs
Frody can recommend many preparations for these stellar ribs, but the rub and barbecue sauce seemed fitting for a summer kick off gathering. Don’t take our word for it; ask the man himself on Saturday’s when he is manning the butcher line.
- 3-6 ribs racks, preferably spare ribs
- Dry rub of choice (we used a mix of paprika, cumin, rosemary, salt, brown sugar, and fresh ground pepper)
- Homemade or store purchased barbecue sauce
Rub ribs with dry rub and let sit 30 minutes. Heat grill to low setting and grill ribs for as long as you can stand it.
Zucchini Feta Boats
The most important component of this recipe is the olive oil. A strong, condiment oil brings out the best flavors and gives the boats a lovely finish. We recommend our in house favorite oil, Viola.
- 4 zucchini
- ½ lb. Greek Feta
- 8 mint leaves, finely chopped
- 12 basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
- Condiment grade olive oil
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper
Blanch untrimmed zucchini for two minutes, place in ice water to stop them from continuing to cook.
Mix all other ingredients together with a tablespoon or two of the condiment oil. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Spoon feta mix into the cavity of each slice and serve drizzled with more condiment oil.
Ariella Barrutia’s Apple Basil Salad
Because this recipe requires so few ingredients, it is important to select the best apples available (this week, we used Galas). The higher the quality of the ingredients, the better the salad.
- 4 Gala apples, cut into bite size pieces
- ¼ cup julienne cut fresh basil
- 1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
Toss apples and basil first with vinegar. Repeat with oil. Be sure to toss first with vinegar, the oil will seal the apples and basil from soaking up any vinegar. Serve chilled.
There you have it, grilling a la Caputo’s. The best ingredients require only the simplest preparations, which is just how we like it. Happy Fourth of July, friends, we hope you enjoy the holiday!